When weariness seems to be winning
It is without question that the global pandemic, with the potential risk of illness, and all its associated difficulties of extended lockdowns and increased restrictions, is taking its toll on many of us in some form or another. Coupled with this is the feeling that the evangelical church is increasingly being squeezed out of cultural conversations and labelled as irrelevant and out of touch with the new progressive, “all inclusive” ideology of our age. It is in times like these that we need to listen carefully to what God’s Word tells us and be on guard so as not to drift from all that we are and have and hope for in our Lord Jesus.
The church of Galatia understood some of the challenges of living as Christ’s loving and righteous witnesses in a difficult world. After giving the church instruction in how to love their neighbour, keep in step with the Spirit and bear the fruits of the Spirit, protect the church from agitators, and provide for those who serve, Paul gives them this simple and timeless encouragement, “let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up”(Galatians 6:9).
In this encouragement Paul acknowledges that weariness is a real and present danger for the Christian in their pursuit of doing good. The word “weary” means to lose our motivation in continuing on. It often means getting discouraged. There are countless causes for our weariness. It can come when we expected that our good would be valued, but instead it is turned against us. It may be the result of feeling that the task is too big and overwhelming. Or it can come as a result of physical, mental, or spiritual anguish, while at other times it just comes with no rhyme or reason.
Whatever the reason, the ultimate cause of our weariness is that we live in a fallen world among fallen people. And while we are new creatures in Christ who have been purchased by His own blood, our weariness reminds us that we have not yet fully obtained our adoption as sons nor experienced the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:23). But beloved, Paul encourages us by likening our “doing good” to seeds that are sown. As they are sown, to us they look lifeless and conquered by the elements, which only adds to our exhaustion and discouragement. But they are not, “for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up”.
God has promised that all our faithfulness and doing good by His power that works in us will reap a harvest. It will come partly in this world, through clear and obvious signs of His multitude blessings. But our full reward will be revealed at the coming of our Saviour and Lord who will give in proportion to our labours for Him. Whatever your trial, may you know afresh that Christ has received the victory and grants victory to all who are in Him. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor 15:58).